He is risen indeed! What an amazing Easter weekend at ABC. I am so grateful for how God moved through our worship services, and it was a joy to see so many new faces walk through our doors. In total, we welcomed 489 people to our Good Friday service, and we saw 1,431 people worship with us on Easter Sunday. We distributed 4,000 filled eggs to children in our community, and I believe the name of Jesus Christ was lifted up and exalted all weekend long. A lot of unseen hard work went in behind the scenes to make the weekend such a success. I want to thank Derek Tackett, Daulton Halliburton, and our facilities team for building our beautiful Good Friday cross and keeping our facilities pristine. Also thank you to Janis Loukas, Joy Nail, and the entire hospitality committee for beautifully decorating our stage with all those vibrant flowers. Thanks to Dr. Todd Stearns, the choir, orchestra, and entire worship/AV team for tirelessly rehearsing to make the music incredible. And thank you to the ABC Kids staff and volunteers for doing a fantastic job with the egg hunt, all while managing a huge wave of babies in the preschool hallway! There are countless other volunteers that I could mention as the list does go on and on. But thank you to everyone who served, prayed, invited, and worshipped with us. To God be the glory for great things He has done.
This weekend I am kicking off a new sermon series titled, “Changed.” Each week we will examine a famous encounter with Jesus Christ in the New Testament. While the characters encountering Christ will vary week to week, we will notice that there is a common thread in all their stories: meeting with Jesus changes everything. The apostle Paul explained that this principle is still true for those who meet Jesus Christ today, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus Christ gives us new life. In fact, He went as far as to promise that He will give us life to the full: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
But the truth is sometimes our lives don’t feel very “abundant.” Sometimes we are just running on fumes, and we feel like we are on the verge of hitting empty. Everyday people, events, and circumstances have the propensity to drain us. Consequently, it’s easy to find yourself walking through this life filled with anger and cynicism, anxiety and stress, or even depressed and full of regret. Then the question is how can we be filled back up? The Bible tells us that we need to continue to have encounters with Christ. The author of Hebrews explains, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Meeting with Jesus isn’t a one-time transaction to be solely conducted at the moment of your salvation. Rather, He invites us to meet with Him daily so He can continue to transform our hearts and minds.
My question for you to consider in this series is, “what needs to change in your life?” Maybe it’s your attitude, maybe it’s your marriage, maybe it’s your finances. Perhaps it’s an addiction or a sin that no one knows of. I can assure you that we all have our own lists because the Bible explains that each of us in Christ are still a work in progress (Philippians 1:6). But the good news of the Gospel is that we have an agent of change in Jesus Christ who is readily available to help us look more like Him. You and I can experience life change if we commit to continue our pursuit of Him. I look forward to getting into God’s word with you this Sunday, and I encourage you to invite a friend to join you who may need an encounter with Christ. Easter Sunday reminds us of the power that a personal invitation to church can make. Don’t exercise that power once a year, but instead continue to invite your peers to sit with you so they can also experience another resurrection Sunday this weekend. Have a great week and I look forward to worshipping with you Sunday.
Onward and upward,